Covenantal Merit in the 1689; Form & Matter + Promise & Promulgation = Particular Baptist Federal Theology [Sam Renihan]

The book by Andrew A. Woolsey that is mentioned
The book by Andrew A. Woolsey that is mentioned

In the last four Particular Voices post, Sam Renihan serves up a lot of info on Covenant Theology and our Confession of Faith [1689] from the voices of the past, as well as his takeaways. The first of these four post is Covenantal Merit in The Confession of Faith:

Recently I have been reading this excellent work by Andrew Woolsey. In one section on the primary sources behind the Westminster Confession of Faith, Woolsey shows the strong influence of John Ball on the confession in general and chapter seven in particular. What I want to point out is the concept of covenantal merit at play in paragraph one of the Westminster Confession and the London Baptist Confession. The two confessions are very similar here.

lbcf-7-1

One of his takeaways:

Narrowing our focus to the London Confession, the confession confesses that God promised the reward of life to man through covenant. There was no other way man could have earned it. In other words, chapter seven confesses the covenant of works. Trace the reward of life in chapters 6, 19, and 20 and you will find this assertion further substantiated.

The following three post are more inter-related. He begins in the fourth and most recent post:

In the previous two posts, we have looked at the distinction between form and matter. The first post dealt with this distinction in relation to the republication of the law of the covenant of works in the Mosaic covenant. The second post dealt with this distinction more broadly, and showed the direction that the Particular Baptists would take this distinction in order to say that though the promise of the new covenant (the gospel) was made known in all of redemptive history, it was not formally established as a covenant until Christ’s death.

 

To refresh, in light of the formal/material distinction, just because the law is present in a given covenant, it does not mean that this covenant is the covenant of works. Conversely, just because the promise (the gospel) is present in a given covenant, it does not mean that this covenant is the covenant of grace.

 

In this post, I want to continue along similar lines in order to show the differences between Particular Baptist federal theology and that of their Paedobaptist brothers. I want to do this by showing how the same argumentation was employed, only with completely opposite arguments.

Here are the three post:

Formal and Material Republication in the Confessions of Faith

Form and Matter in Covenant Theology

Form and Matter + Promise and Promulgation = Particular Baptist Federal Theology

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